Monday, September 25, 2006

Problem Session III

Hey, hey, hey!

I felt that class came off pretty well today. We began with an example of linear algebra applied to chess, in which we analyzed the moves of the knight in terms of the basis {[1,2],[2,1]}. Fun galore! From there we spent some more time on the applications begun last week, to crystal structure and roving bases that track the structure of a tropical storm.

And at tonight's problem session, we got our attendance back up to 11, with some new faces (and the sorely-felt absence of a few familiar folks), and with the SAME six teams represented as in the past two weeks. (Come on, you folks in the other two teams...what's keepin' ya?) Having now received permission from those depicted to post the pictures from tonight and last week, I've included (below) candid shots of the evening activities.

Also, I've approached four of the students from the class with the idea of letting them have the chance to lead the classroom activities, and all four were up for it! (I'm doing a little dance of jubilation as I write this. Don't believe me? Ha! Try and prove it!) All seemed excited by the idea, though one of the stalwart students expressed a little fright, which would be mitigated by being allowed to lead class with the assistance of a good friend. I have confidence in all four of these students' abilities, and will soon be prepping them for this responsibility. I'm excited!

Meanwhile, here are the promised pix from tonight and last Tuesday:


Okay, y'all who haven't come yet: see how much food you're missing out on? A veritable smorgasbord of goodness! Two sorts of apple bread (store-bought and homemade), homemade brownies (thanks, Fiona!), grapes, and your choice of refreshing carbonated beverage! Mmmmmm...MMMM!


And check this out: can you get any more excitement than the Row Reduction Races?!!? I mean, really! Look at these tough competitors from Week 2, pounding out those row operations on their calculators, each one hoping to be crowned the monarch of matrix manipulation!

And here it is! The exultant victor! Just look at that reduced row-echelon form! Yowza! It's this sustained, unceasing excitement that led to tonight's increased crowd, shown below:

Food, friends, linear algebra...a natural combination. I ask you, does it get any better than this?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The help session is valuable for me because listening to the questions of others, concepts become more concrete.

So, who supplied the food tonight? I'm thinking it was Patrick; we need to help out with some money for this week as well as for next. So, Patrick, if we brings you a few dollars, would you be willing to do the shopping?

Anonymous said...

The help session is valuable for me because listening to the questions of others, concepts become more concrete.

So, who supplied the food tonight? I'm thinking it was Patrick; we need to help out with some money for this week as well as for next. So, Patrick, if we brings you a few dollars, would you be willing to do the shopping?

Anonymous said...

why did that get posted twice? so much for trying to post on the blog....technology and the modern classroom....

Megan said...

HAHAHA those pictures totally rock!!!

Too bad I look like I am on drugs.

DocTurtle said...

To anonymous: thanks for pointing out yet another way the problem sessions prove helpful. For my own part, I love getting the chance to interact with you in a more "one-on-one" setting, and of course the more relaxed atmosphere makes it much more fun.

As far as food is concerned, with the amount of food I've been bringing (aside from the pizzas for the first week), I'm not put out enough for me to ask for remuneration. Thank you kindly, though! What would be cool is if others, as happened last Tuesday, could bring their own munchies to share.

And to Megan: it's not drugs; it's only the heady experience of being the monarch of matrix manipulation!

eliz said...

Docturtle, the first week of school I thought you were a little crazy...but now you make me laugh, thanks for being such a wacky teacher!

Anonymous said...

I still think Patrick's crazy. Crazy like a fox.

Anonymous said...

In response to your question: "Food, friends,linear algebra... a natural combination. Does it get any better than this?" It does get better just replace the Linear Algebra with practically anything else.
Just kidding, thank you so much for taking the time to help us out. It is very much appreciated.